First things first: don’t confuse browser and search engine. A browser is an application that allows you to visit web pages, while a search engine is a web page that enables you to locate web pages that contain specific words. google.com, yahoo.com, or bing.com (from Microsoft) are search engines.
To access a search engine you have to do the same as to access any other web page, write its web address in the address bar of the browser. For example, if you type “google.com” you will see something like this:
For the convenience of users, modern browsers ensure that when the text you enter in their address bar is not a web address, the text will be searched for in a search engine. In this way, the address bar acts as a search bar.
What is “search engine optimization”?
It is the discipline dedicated to making a website appear among the first results that search engines show.
Search engines provide two types of results: ads and organic or natural results:
- SEO: Abbreviation for “Search Engine Optimization,” which translates as “natural positioning” or “organic positioning,” and has to do with results that are no ads. To determine the order in which results will be displayed, search engines assess, among other things, the popularity of web pages, the quality of their texts, or how fast they work.
- SEM: stands for “Search Engine Marketing,” which translates to “search engine marketing” and has to do with ads. This is a type of advertising called PPC, the acronym for “Pay Per Click” or “Pay Per Click” since the advertiser does not pay to display their ads but when users click on them.
Differences between SEO and SEM
The criteria that search engines use to show natural results (SEO) is secret, although from time to time, search engines give us clues.
There are official SEM certifications issued by the search engines themselves, which allow them to be officially trained in this discipline.
The results of SEO actions are observed in the long term.
The SEM produces results immediately.
In SEO it is impossible to estimate, much less guarantee, results.
Results can be estimated in the SEM.
The competition in SEO is so high that trying to appear on the first page of results can be useless, especially for generic terms.
In SEM, if you pay enough, your website will appear in the top positions. The cost per click (CPC) depends on the competition. The more advertisers want your website to appear among the top results, the more expensive the click.
It isn’t very easy to rigorously measure the results of SEO actions. SEM results can be accurately measured.
In SEO it is of little use to pay a monthly fee to an “expert.” It is preferable to invest in having an excellent website, produce quality content, and spread it.
SEM is highly segmented advertising, and it also teaches you a lot about your market and your customers. With SEM, you will learn what terms your customers use to refer to your products and services, which of these words are most effective in closing a sale. Which advertising texts are more persuasive, what are the best times of the day to sell, and what geographical areas are more profitable.